Patrick McFetridge ’12/Vermont Information Processing, Williston VT.

Patrick McFetridge ’12 is working at Vermont Information Processing in Williston, VT as a Projects Manager and Software Implementation Specialist. The company specializes in software for beverage distributors across the country. Patrick travels extensively around the United States to various beer, wine and soda distributors to demonstrate VIP’s software. When not travelling, Patrick spends most of his time on site teaching customers to use VIP’s software through one on one sessions and classroom style lectures. Both his activities on site and on the road require him to have an in depth knowledge of the various features and capabilities of the firm’s software suite, from general ledger information, warehouse management systems, delivery applications to delivery routing systems.

Patrick reports that there are a number of fellow alums at the company, though he is the youngest. He has already acquired his own portfolio of clients and will soon have his own install projects to lead. These projects include both the data conversion necessary for installing the product and then the actual install itself. Once the install project is completed, Patrick’s team is responsible for follow through and primary customer support for a brief period before the customer is transferred to VIP’s Customer Service Department, and Patrick begins the cycle again with another account.

Interestingly, Patrick credits community service he did as a student through the MOVE office for his job at VIP. “ I was assisting in the Milton Youth Day events when I met a woman representing VIP at the event asked if I would be interested in taking a tour of the company…once I was a senior, I took the tour, began the application process and here I am!” He also reports that “the education I acquired at SMC had helped prepare me for the tasks and challenges I face every day in the workplace and on site.” Patrick lives quite near campus, in Winooski with two other SMC grads from the class of 2012. He tells us that I am having a great time working for this company primarily because we are employee owned which creates a great corporate culture!”

Patrick was a member of the team of SMC Business students who won first prize at last year’s State University of New York Plattsburgh Free Enterprise Olympics, a competition involving students from eight colleges and universities in the region (see “Events”, April 1, 2013 posting).

CEO’s “visit” Prof. Bill Meyer’s BU 215 Marketing class

Prof. Bill Meyer recently “brought” two distinguished CEO’s into his BU 215 Marketing class using Skype to connect his students with leading marketing practitioners. His first guest was Chad Ledford, formerly of 3tailer, LLC (http://www.3tailer.com), an online retailer offering over 200,000 products primarily in categories typically underserved by other sellers. Chad recently began a new venture, AddShoppers (http://www.addshoppers.com), a company that works with online retailers to help them maximize their impact on social media. AddShoppers offers its clients a proprietary array of analytic tools and promotional tactics to better understand where sales are generated and how to build broader communities online for their respective brands. Chad spoke to the class about how online retailers have to use marketing strategies to distinguish themselves in an increasingly competitive environment.

The other “visitor” to Prof. Meyer’s class was Greg Tepas, CEO of Emkay (http://www.emkay.com ), based in Itasca, IL. Emkay is an employee-owned firm specializing in management and leasing services for corporate vehicle fleets across North America. Founded in 1946, Emkay has grown to become one of the top ten service providers in the industry. Gregg focused on the challenges of building a service-based brand and developing the kind of team that can deliver consistently outstanding service.

Eamon Khalaj ’12/People’s United Bank, Waltham, MA

Business grad Eamon Khalaj ’12 is a Financial Services Associate at People’s United Bank, Waltham, MA. He works as a personal banker, loan officer, and public representative of the bank. In order to broaden his branch’s customer base, Eamon conducts a lot of market research and participates in many networking activities with area businesses. He also reports that he’s been able to use his multilingual capabilities to assist a wide demographic range of people who come in with questions ranging from opening accounts to account maintenance and growth. Part of his work involves making loans within his designated lending limit. Another important part of his job is taking part in ongoing training about the bank’s products. Eamon tells us that “People’s United Bank has been very hands on in my personal growth within the company, which has allowed me to progress at the rate that I am…..it definitely keeps me on my toes. Banking is an extremely competitive industry – this was a surprise to me, and something I had no idea of when I first entered banking!”

Patricia H. Richards M’07/Washington Electric Coop

Patty Richards, Master of Science in Administration ’07, joined Washington Electric Cooperative last May as the General Manager. Washington Electric Co-op serves approximately 11,000 households and businesses in 41 towns in Vermont’s Orange, Washington and Caledonia Counties. Two-thirds of the electricity used by WEC members is generated by WEC’s own landfill gas plant in Coventry, and its small hydro facility at the Wrightsville Reservoir. Patty has had a long history working in the utility world in Vermont. Between 2010 and 2013, she was a Senior Consultant with La Capra Associates, a firm which assists utilities with power supply planning, contracting and management, renewable energy development analysis, rate design and other regulatory matters. Prior to taking the position at La Capra, she was Director of Power Supply and Transmission for the Vermont Public Power Supply Authority, where she managed power supply for several small municipal utilities as well as WEC’s interactions with the New England regional power grid. Patty began her utility career at Burlington Electric Department, where she worked for 17 years in administrative and energy efficiency related positions before becoming its Director of Resource Planning. In that position she gained recognition for her regulatory work at the Public Service Board, at the State House and in energy education programs at schools and colleges.

MadeitinVermont.com – a web site featuring student authored business cases

Since the Fall of 2012, students in Prof. Brosh Teucher’s BU 214 Management class have been conducting interviews with small businesses and nonprofit organizations throughout Vermont to identify both key management challenges they face and successful management practices. These interviews have formed the basis for a series of student-written business cases which can be used in a wide range of classes. The students in the Fall 2012, Spring 2013, and Fall 2013 classes have also developed and refined a web site (http://madeitinvermont.com/) which contains a complete listing of the six companies and one nonprofit interviewed so far, as well as case synopses for the Fall 2012 interviews. Case Synopses for the Fall 2013 round will be posted over the next few months.

At the end of each semester the students presented their cases and the website to panels of IT, marketing and management professionals. The presentation of the website during the Saint Michael’s College Academic Symposium in April 2013 drew almost 180 visitors, a record for the event.

John McGrath ’10/Northeastern University doctoral program in Higher Education Administration

Web site John McGrath 10 picJohn McGrath ’10, a Budget Analyst for Babson College and Clarkson MBA Grad ’11, was recently accepted into Northeastern University’s doctoral program in Higher Education Administration. Prior to working at Babson, John worked as the Budget Director for TCI College in New York City developing multi-year budgets, providing organizational downsizing suggestions, and serving as the financial analyst for union negotiations.

John plans to study financial reform at Northeastern, focusing on developing new financial models which can allow colleges and universities to cut tuition rates. He feels that his doctoral research is very timely, given the widespread public concern with ever increasing tuition costs and the federal government’s $10 billion incentive program for colleges and universities to develop new ways of reducing the tuition burden for students.

Matt Benedetto ’12/ Eastern Collective

Matt Benedetto ’12, founder of Eastern Collective, has already been featured on this site (see August 2011, “Alumni News”) with his original company, East Coast Headware, which he began in 2003 and brought with him to campus when he came to Saint Michael’s College. ECH sold various products for skiers and snowboarders, and attracted extensive attention for both the brand and for Matt. Matt again appeared on this site in 2012, as a co-winner of the 2012 Enterprise Plan Competition (see July,2012 “Events”).

In 2012, Matt changed the company name to Eastern Collective. He has refocused its main product offering to a line of fabric-covered iPhone cables. Not surprisingly, the line has proven to be a huge success, with Benedetto achieving widespread distribution in a number of national retail chains and online sellers. Last April, he was featured in Entrepreneur magazine. The article can be accessed at http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/225941

Simga Beta Delta Induction Ceremony April 21, 2012

On Saturday, April 21, 2012, the Department of Business Administration and Accounting held its annual induction ceremony for the Saint Michael’s chapter of Sigma Beta Delta, a national honor society for business and accounting students.  I’ve posted the announcement from chapter Secretary Prof. Steve Doyon ’88 regarding the event:

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On Saturday, twenty-three senior students and their family and friends joined Department faculty, President Neuhauser and Rev. Brian Cummings, S.S.E. in filling the Hoehl Presentation room to capacity as we celebrated those students’ induction into Sigma Beta Delta.

Honorary inductee Jim Moriarty, ’88 AC major encouraged students to be themselves, to be creative, to always question the norm and (as he frequently tells his three children) to have fun as they pursue personal and professional dreams after Saint Michael’s.   Jim reminded us all that success in business and life are dependent upon our relationships, including for our students those forged here at Saint Michael’s.  He was joined by his wife Monica (SMC ’89), his children Will, Meghan and Chris and several SMC alumni employed at accounting firm McGladrey & Pullen, LLP in Boston where Jim is a partner.  These graduates were pleased to be able to return to  Saint Michael’s and interact with some of our best students.

 Special appreciation for Diana Hoppe’s tireless efforts in preparing for today’s ceremony and to everyone who participated in and attended the induction.  It is always a special time when we can gather to honor our students’ academic achievement.

 Please join us in congratulating the newest Sigma Beta Delta members below when you see them in class and on campus in the coming days.  

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 This year’s inductees were:

Nathan P. Bryant

 Jennifer L. Ceasar

Garrett B. Clark

Kathleen A. Collins

Ricardo J. Daher Lupi

Mathew E. Foley

Alexander S. Fornaciari

Justin O. Gauthier

Jordan E. Graves

Lauren A. Haley

Benjamin D. Hodges

Kendra D. LaBounty

Rachel M. Laufersweiler

Alyssa E. McBride

Eileen M. Mullowney

Jeffrey M. Narus

Andrea E. Park

Matthew J. Stayton

Kyle M. Stevenson

Steven M. Thompson

Christine M. Trombley

Thao P. Uong

Alyssa M. Urella

Soon Hyun Yoon

2012 Enterprise Plan Competition Winners – watch it all!

Once again, this year’s Enterprise Plan Competition was a great success!  Another first for EPC – we were able to record the entire event on the College’s Tegrity system, so anyone who was unable to attend the actual presentations on April 20, 2012 can watch them.   Simply go the EPC web site (http://www.smcvt.edu/academics/enterprise/default.asp) and you’ll be able to see the link.

Here is the press release the College put out after the event:

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 Alliance Freeride,” business plan of Matthew Benedetto, Peter Engen & Ashley Langlands, wins top prize in Saint Michael’s Enterprise Plan Competition

 

With the growth of freestyle skiing into acceptance in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, three adventurous ski-advocates and business students landed on a creative idea for a business.  And these three Saint Michael’s College senior business majors beat out some superb competition to be named winners in the 2012 Saint Michael’s College Enterprise Plan Competition at the finals held April 20, 2012, in the Pomerleau Alumni Center at Saint Michael’s College.

The team of Matthew Benedetto of Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., Peter Engen of Conway, N.H., and Ashley Langlands of Shelburne, N.H. with their plan for Alliance Freeride company, took the first prize award of $5,000.

Second and third places went to Other Side of the Mountain by Denise Belanger and Benjamin Hodges, $2,500 prize, and Camp Hakuna Matata by Michael DeCristofaro and Alexandra Tashjian, $1,000 prize. Hodges, $2,500 prize, and Camp Hakuna Matata by Michael DeCristofaro and Alexandra Tashjian, $1,000 prize. The student plans were developed over the fall 2011 or spring 2012 semesters. Seventeen plans were entered in the event and triple-read by SMC faculty, narrowing the pool down  to the five finalists.  These five teams presented their plans to a panel of business executives who served as judges.

Enterprise Plan history

Established in 2000 and supported ever since by founders Peter and Kareen Worrell, the plan challenges SMC undergraduates to develop start-up and market sustainable business plans to a panel of business leaders who serve as competition judges. Peter Worrell, managing partner of the Bigelow Company, is a former SMC trustee, and a 1979 graduate of Saint Michael’s; Dr. Kareen Kendrick Worrell is a 1977 SMC graduate. They are residents of Portsmouth, N.H.

Alliance Freeride business

“Alliance Freeride will be a unique retail enterprise specializing in the growing freestyle skiing market, with the additional goal of increasing awareness of this emerging sport,” the team wrote in the executive summary to their 60 page business plan (with 8 pages of appendices).

The highly detailed, creative and insightful plan covered everything from mission and vision to an outline of company partners, products, a market analysis, a strategy and implementation summary, a web plan summary for web sales, measurable milestones, management summary, financial plan, and exit strategy. The financials include extraordinarily detailed projections, with graphs and bar charts and lots of numbers.

The business aims to strengthen the knowledge of freestyle skiing and to be a presence in the retail market. A flagship store in Burlington, Vermont, for seasonal and year-round business, will be supplemented by “a pop-up location” in Government Camp at the base of Mt. Hood, Oregon, where many freestyle skiing athletes train during June and August.

Their plan focuses on serving a niche market of the freestyle community not yet represented in Burlington. The location will tap into the youth vibe of the college town area, and will focus on nearby ski areas and vacation centers in Vermont, Northern New York, Quebec and Maine.

Among their products are traditional freestyle skis, rocker skis, ski poles, gloves and mittens, outerwear, helmets, eyewear, apparel and accessories. The business has creative ways of advancing eco-conscious consumerism and other features.Freeride skiing is an emerging sport on skis, that appears to use the same structural elements, the terrain park, that snowboarders use. The plan states that freeride is “about being an individual and expressing your own personal style.”

Judges

The judges panel, consisting of a mix of senior executives, investors and entrepreneurs, was tremendously impressed with the creativity and poise of all of the presenting teams. This year’s judges were

Dan Browdy, Chief Operating Office of Lantana Consulting, a health care information consultancy, and previously COO of Hubbardton Forge.

Nicole Carignan, executive vice president and CFO of the SymQuest Group, office automation specialists based in South Burlington, Vt.,

Roger Frey, president and owner of Earl’s Cyclery & Fitness of South Burlington, VT, the state’s largest bicycle and fitness equipment retailer.

Sean Gammon, CEO of Members Advantage Community Credit Union, a leading financial cooperative specializing in serving Vermont’s education community.

Steven Magowan, CEO and president of Sunrise Management Services, LLC, an entity that, among other endeavors, invests in start-up and later stage companies.

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Learn What Matters at Saint Michael’s College, The Edmundite Catholic liberal arts college, www.smcvt.edu  . Saint Michael’s provides education with a social conscience, producing graduates with the intellectual tools to lead successful, purposeful lives that will contribute to peace and justice in our world. Founded in 1904 by the Society of St. Edmund and headed by President John J. Neuhauser, Saint Michael’s College is located three miles from Burlington, Vermont, one of America’s top college towns. Identified by the Princeton Review as one of the nations Best 376 Colleges, and included in the 2012 Fiske Guide to Colleges, Saint Michael’s has 1,900 undergraduate students and 500 graduate students. Saint Michael’s students and professors have received Rhodes, Woodrow Wilson, Pickering, Guggenheim, Fulbright, and other grants. The college is one of the nation’s top-100, Best Liberal Arts Colleges as listed in the 2012 U.S. News & World Report rankings.
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Michael Sugrue ’09/Stanley Elevator Co.

Michael Sugrue ’09 is a sales representative for Stanley Elevator Co., Inc. based in Merrimack, NH.  Mike admits that the elevator business “….wasn’t something I thought I would get into right out of college…”  However, as he begins his fourth year with Stanley, he reports that he’s really enjoying both his role in sales and the industry “…because it’s unique …. a lot of fun and ties into lots of other industries (construction, architecture, building operations, etc.)